Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Monday warned that he would immediately adjourn the joint session of Congress on the part of the Senate if a move is made to convene the legislature into a constituent assembly (Con-ass) during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In a brief interview with reporters prior to the opening of the third regular session of the 17th Congress, Sotto stressed that convening Congress into a Con-ass is not possible.
“That is not possible because it is not part of the resolution that we will agree on today. If you notice, the resolution that we will be passing is to hear the address of the President. So there is no other business that can be done there,” he said.
Both chambers of Congress are expected to pass a resolution convening a joint session of Congress to listen to the President’s annual SONA later in the day.
“If ever that happens, I will adjourn the session on the part of the Senate,” Sotto stressed.
A ranking lawmaker from the House of Representatives has said that there could be a possibility of convening a Con-ass if the Senate and the House would pass separate resolutions constituting Congress as a constituent assembly.
But Sotto said that could not be done because “that would be completely, not only unconstitutional, but illegal.”
“We are convened to listen to the address of the President, for that purpose alone. ‘Pag ginawa nila ‘yun, I will adjourn the session on the part of the Senate and no one can stop me,” Sotto said. PNA